Preview: Music Box Theatre Celebrates Wes Anderson and Asteroid City With Four New Classics

This Friday, in anticipation of filmmaker Wes Anderson's upcoming Asteroid City, the Music Box Theatre hosts 4 by Wes; from Friday, June 16, to Tuesday, June 20, the Music Box hosts showings of four of Anderson's earlier films. All four screen on 35mm film in the larger of the venue's two theaters. (The exact schedule of the event can be found here.)

The series opens and closes with The Royal Tenenbaums, Anderson's heartfelt yet dark take on the family comedy, led by a sprawling cast of equally memorable characters. The others to be shown include Rushmore, his breakout hit that follows the intense rivalry between an overachieving student and his equally cunning mentor; Moonrise Kingdom, a tale of young and undefeated love in the 1960s; and The Grand Budapest Hotel, a complex but moving story about the unbreakable bond between two close friends. All four films are stuffed full of Anderson's signature dry wit, symmetrical shot construction, and familiar cast members playing his charmingly quirky characters.

The Music Box describes these four films as "their favorite" and cites that as the reason for showing them specifically, and I agree with this choice wholeheartedly, even if I have both a different overall favorite and live action Anderson film. Each of the films selected captures a different aspect of what makes Anderson such a refined and fun filmmaker.

Rushmore illustrates how well he can create a main character; Jason Schwartzman (also the lead in Asteroid City) creates perhaps his most well-defined lead role to date. Tenenbaums is a testament to how well Anderson can command a large cast and make them all feel important, while Moonrise shows how well he can create a beautifully and fully realized setting, and Budapest showcases how well he can tell a story, no matter how expansive it is. Any of these four films would be perfect for a newcomer to get into Anderson with, and for a veteran of his works, it should make for a fantastic way to spend the days leading up to the release of his newest stylistic outing.

Asteroid City opens at the Music Box on Friday, June 23. Advance tickets are on sale for both events now.

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Sam Layton

Sam Layton is a Chicago suburb native that's trying his best to make a career out of his (probably unhealthy) habit of watching too much television. When he's not working as the Third Coast Review's current sole TV reviewer, he's making his way through college or, shockingly, watching too much television.